Massachusetts police officer, bystander shot dead with officer’s pistol

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(Reuters) – A Massachusetts man is expected to be arraigned on murder charges Monday after being accused of killing a south Boston police officer and a bystander with the officer’s pistol early Sunday, officials said.

Weymouth, Ma. Police Chief Richard Grimes identified the officer as Michael Chesna, 42, and said the name of the elderly woman would be released after her next of kin were notified.

Officials said police responded to a report of a man driving erratically about 7:30 a.m. in the south Boston town, and that the man had crashed the vehicle and was running away when Chesna arrived on the scene.

Chesna chased the man, identified by police as 20-year-old Emanuel Lopes, when he picked up a large rock and hit Chesna in the head, officials said.

Chesna fell to the ground, officials said, and Lopes took his service pistol and shot Chesna several times in the head and chest.

Other responding officers chased Lopes, who continued to fire at police. A stray bullet was fired into a nearby house, killing the woman.

Lopes was wounded by a gunshot from the police and was arrested and taken to a nearby hospital where he remained early Monday, officials said. His condition was stable.

It was unclear if he would be arraigned at the hospital or at a courthouse. No other information on Lopes was immediately available.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker wrote on Twitter: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Officer Chesna and an innocent bystander today and my thoughts and prayers are with their families.”

A visibly shaken Grimes said during a news conference Sunday that Chesna was a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and had a wife and two children.

“He was just a great family man, he was a great officer,” Grimes said.

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Alison Williams

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